Liam Burgess and Connor Hammond scored as Manford Way returned to action with a victory in the Essex Olympian Football League Division One and eased past Toby with another 2-0 victory.
The hosts dominated for much of the first half and totally dominated the second period as the visitors struggled to grow into the game.
The result kept Manford in 5th place but importantly closed the gap on Ongar Town, who didn’t have a league game, and Runwell Sports, who were beaten at home by Old Chelmsfordians while it dropped Toby down to 8th, knowing that every team has at least one game in-hand on them.
Toby had looked to start off the quickest as Rhys Willson had a shot from distance but fired his effort over the bar. Down the other end, a corner for Manford was punched well by Charlie Perry and cleared.
Marc Porter-Brown drove towards goal for the visitors but his effort was fired over before the hosts began to dominate. A free-kick was fired just over the bar before Glen Warwick headed the ball over at the back-post and a free-kick from Liam Burgess narrowly missed the heads of any player despite it being launched into a crowded area. The hosts thought they should have been ahead as Ronnie Hobborough was played through but his shot parried and a second attempt from Connor Hammond was close but didn’t hit the back of the net.
The visitors had chances themselves but like their opponents, couldn’t find the breakthrough. Porter-Brown was played through and ruled onside as he ran towards goal but as he tried to round the keeper, he got a good hand to the ball before the second attempt was sent wide of the target. Minutes later, Manford had a huge penalty shout for handball but the referee didn’t seem interested and ignored the shouts.
As the game approached half-time, the hosts continued to dominate. Hobborough shot on the turn but his effort was fired over before Hammond played a good ball across the edge of the box but that was also fired over. The pressure finally paid off on the stroke of half-time as the hosts broke the deadlock. Liam Burgess’ shot squeezed into the back of the net from the edge of the box.
Right from the off in the second-half, Manford Way dominated the proceedings. Hammond had a shot from the edge of the box but it deflected off his own teammate before Burgess fired a shot inches wide of the goal and Robbie Rees tried to dink the ball over the on-rushing keeper but he couldn’t get the ball to dip in time.
Manford continued to have shots at the Toby goal but the story of their match continued as more efforts flew over the bar. The visitors gained possession and tried to break down the left-hand side but the hosts defended well and prevented any shot at goal. Toby had a good opportunity to cross into the box but the cross was fired behind before it could cause any problems.
With 15-minutes to play, Manford finally doubled their lead. Robbie Hobborough latched onto a loose ball and tried to round the keeper, who got a strong hand to the ball but it was cleared as far as Connor Hammond who slotted the ball into the an open net from the edge of the box with the Toby keeper stranded. Into the last 10-minutes, Manford almost had a third but another dinked attempted was headed off the line and Tommy Turner fired another shot over the bar.
With minutes left to play, Toby had a corner which was defended well by the hosts and although the hosts tried to break from that set-piece, it was Toby who come forward but a pass aimed for Luiz Ruiz was over hit and the game was brought to an end.